10/14/2011 2:06PM

Los Alamitos: All eyes on Separate Fire in Golden State Million trials


With runners in all 10 divisions, trainer Paul Jones will have a busy evening during the Golden State Million trials at Los Alamitos on Sunday.

None of the runners will be as heavily scrutinized as Separate Fire, winner of the Ed Burke Memorial Futurity in June. Separate Fire is eligible for a $1 million bonus, if she can win the Golden State Million on Oct. 30 and the Los Alamitos Two Million Futurity on Dec. 11.

“She’s ready,” Jones said last weekend. Jones said he was pleased with the filly’s recent training, specifically a 350-yard workout in 17.70 seconds on Sept. 20.

Separate Fire starts in the ninth trial. The horses with the 10 fastest times, regardless of finishing positions in the 400-yard trials, will earn berths to the final.

Separate Fire will be attempting to win the second leg of a three-race series that has never been swept since the bonus was inaugurated in 1998.

There are accomplished horses in several of the trials.

In the first race, Fly First Down makes his first start since finishing seventh as the favorite in the Ruidoso Futurity in New Mexico in June.

In the third race, Oceanik, third in the Ed Burke, will be favored. Trained by Joe Bassett, Oceanik is a maiden after five starts.

In the fourth race, Terrific Synergy, fourth in the Burke, faces the Jones-trained Jess Sass Dash, who was sixth in the Rainbow Futurity at Ruidoso Downs in July.

Long Gone, second in the Pacific Coast Quarter Horse Racing Association Breeders’ Futurity on Oct.  1, will be a heavy favorite in the seventh division. Trained by Adan Farias, Long Gone finished first in the Governor’s Cup Futurity in July, but was disqualified and placed ninth for causing interference.

Trainer Cody Joiner starts the promising filly Study Hall Pierce in the eighth race. Study Hall Pierce has won two of three starts, with the loss being a third in a division of the California Breeders’ Freshman Stakes in July.

Separate Fire, a winner of five of six starts and $605,082, breaks from post 3 in an eight-horse field. Check My Thoughts, who won a division of the California Breeders’ Freshman Stakes, and Driving Miss Dazie, a half-sister to the seven-time Grade  1 winner Jess You and I, may pose threats.